‘…for what it’s worth’

Not too long to go now before I return to the yUK and can be reunited with my wonderful wife and baby. Counting tonight it’s five sleeps before touching down in the waterlogged land of the smoke free and the home of the terrorist attack…

We talked by videophone tonight, and Oti was doing his best James Bond villain impersonation, trying to ensure that the secret programme that would ensure world domination for his organization BABIGRO (Bad-Ass Babies International Group Run by Otis) was going to be downloaded by hammering the keyboard and pulling any cable that came within his grasp. He’s getting so grown up now, and I just know (and really look forward to) how much of a handful he’s going to be. He’s inquisitive, searching, intelligent and just so, so wonderful, and I’m allowed to gush, ‘cos I’m his dad. So there

From a distance, Britain seems to get more like a bad movie every day. Maybe we will end up in a Kevin Costner movie, some crazy cross between The Postman and Waterworld (and we know how successful they were, don’t we folks…). One thing is for sure; it won’t be Field of Dreams. I have to confess to being a sucker for those kind of aw-gee-shucks small-town America movies, where the decent folks go through their trials and tribulations and then come out with dignity intact and a little bit more respect in their community. You know what I mean, don’t you, that kind of Bradbury-ish evocation of long hot summers, crisp frosty winters and white picket fences that permeate It’s a Wonderful Life, Meet Me in St Louis, The Best Years of Our Lives, A Summer Place, Edward Scissorhands, Blue Velvet… you do know what I mean, don’t you…?

I’d like to meet David Lynch. The world needs more seething geniuses like him and Tim Burton to be making movies. Terry Gilliam is another. They don’t really know what they do, they are just driven to do it and get on with it and more often than not get it absolutely right. When they were children they probably stayed up all night watching The Outer Limits, as I am doing at the moment (albeit en Francais – as I said before, ‘pretentious? Moi?’). The direction, scripts, acting, production values are just so damned good, the special effects for the most part astonishing, it’s like a masterclass in television chiller thrillers. And it really is still very, very creepy…

The other thing I am really pleased about is that I bought (for a dollar, I’m such a cheapskate) a fantastic DVD made by Jonathan Demme called Heart of Gold. It’s a documentary about the premiere of Neil Young’s Prairie Wind album (do we still call them albums? I’m sorry I’m not up on the current parlance in the recorded music field) and it reveals the gurny old curmudgeon in a completely new light (to me). He is witty, charming, likeable, frank, emotional and in extremely fine voice all the way through, and aided by his grizzly old band members, some of whom, like Ben Keith, go all the way back to the Stray Gators of the Harvest era, the sound they produce is like milk and honey and warm fires, liquid warmth for the soul. Emmylou Harris is there also, and the amazing Spooner Oldham. They all just exude good vibes, there is no other way to put it, and it’s like all the hippy ‘peace and love, man’ stuff was actually all worth it. I’m sure it will be out for hire in the yUK, so slip on that ole bandana and get down to Blockbuster or Hellraiser or whatever those DVD stores are called and have an evening in front of the box with uncle Neil. Just so’s you don’t get into too much of a mellow vibe, I’d also recommend waiting until a few minutes after the credits have rolled (especially as they roll over a great acoustic version of The Old Laughing Lady) and then get on the internet and go here…


…and enjoy!!

‘Tonight’s blog was a public service announcement from your Khmer correspondent, BBC World Service.’
(sound of coins falling into metal cup)
‘Thank You. Goodnight.”

Listening to – the rhythm of the falling rain

Watching – the skies

Missing – my babies